The government has launched an initiative to hasten the processing of birth certificates.
Speaking in Kajiado during the launch of a one month Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) to clear the current backlog of about 1.3 million applications, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the scheme will give Kenyans who have not obtained the document a chance to do so.
The CS said the exercise which will run until August 1, 2019, is part of the government’s efforts to streamline the provision of various services, including civil registration to citizens.
“Birth registration is the starting line for the government’s policy and planning. Some Kenyans cannot easily access government services; other children have not been registered on National Education Management Information System (Nemis) because they do not have birth certificates, and we have set about taking the burden off our people,” Dr Matiang’i said yesterday.
One of the key pillars of the RRI is to increase the capacity of all registration offices across the country to rationalise the processing and issuance of birth certificates.
This, he said, will involve staffing, availing the required materials and equipment, and conducting regular monitoring and supervision. Dr Matiang’i exuded confidence that the move will meet the surge in demand for this primary identity document.
In Kajiado alone, there is a backlog of 10,234 applications, of which 50 per cent has been cleared, a move that Governor Joseph ole Lenku hailed as a step in the right direction.
Governor ole Lenku urged Kajiado residents to take advantage of the RRI to apply for birth certificates.
The initiative will also feature sustained mass awareness-raising campaigns for birth registration.
Currently, there are 110 registration centres across the country. The government is, however, considering setting up satellite registries in some priority counties.
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja said the RRI has come at the right time when the government is planning to operationalise the National Integrated Identity Management System. Mr Sakaja challenged Kenyans who have not registered for Huduma Namba due to lack of certificates to do so during this period.
Dr Matiang’i said the Civil Registration Department had documented only 64.1 per cent births and 41.9 per cent deaths, which means 35.9 per cent of births and 58.1 per cent deaths are not registered.
To complement the RRI, the CS directed all national government administration officers to spearhead sensitisation campaigns.